Methods & Tools

Top 10 Workshop Games and Ice-Breakers 2023

By June 28, 2023June 3rd, 2024No Comments

Top 10 Workshop Games and Ice-Breakers of 2023 – Edition #1


Have you ever talked to someone in your company about workshop games and energizers and heard something like “that sounds fun and creative, but…. that’s just not for us” or “only startups do that, it doesn’t fit the people in our company”? At Pioneers, we hear this quite a lot and always give the same answer, “At least give it a try, you won’t regret it!”

Even though often associated with young, dynamic startups or “the creative guys from the innovation department”, workshop games offer far more than just entertainment. They have significant benefits as they enhance team dynamics, boost productivity, and foster a positive work environment in all companies, including those with a more traditional company culture. 

Of course, there is always the one very skeptical workshop participant who thinks it is just a waste of time. “Let’s skip these hippie games and just get started with the work”, is something we have heard countless times before. However, our experience has shown that even the most resistant individuals eventually come around and enjoy these games. It might take some convincing, but they usually end up coming out of their shell, they share amusing anecdotes, and beware – even have fun ;-)!

We, at Pioneers, strongly believe in the power of workshop games, especially, how they help get people out of their daily work routine and comfort zone, and open their minds to a more creative way of doing and approaching things.

So let’s stop thinking that workshop games are just for the young dudes that work in trendy startups. Instead, let’s embrace their potential to promote teamwork, boost creativity, and foster an innovative mindset. 

Below, you can find a selection of some of our favorite energizers and icebreakers. For the full list download our Top Workshop Games 2023 – Edition #1 HERE.

#1 Weather Check-in

What’s the activity
People share how they are feeling using a weather analogy.
How to do it: 

  1. Prepare a slide, whiteboard, or even just a piece of paper with different weather symbols on it.
  2. Share the visual of the weather symbols with the group. 
  3. Ask people to choose a weather symbol from the visual that best describes how they are feeling today and to elaborate on why they chose the symbol in one or two sentences. You can ask the participants about their general mood, but it can also be related to specific topics like project progress, i.e. “How are you feeling about the project after last week’s meeting?”
  4. Ask for volunteers or choose a person to start. When they are done sharing, ask the participants to hand over to another person.
  5. The goal is to understand the group’s mood and give the participants a platform to share their feelings and thoughts.
Why we love it:
It is a great and easy way to get people to share their feelings and thoughts and understand the current vibe of your audience.
Time: 10-15 minutes

#2 Emoji or GIF Challenge

What’s the activity
Participants use Emojis or GIFs to depict something, such as their favorite movie, and the remaining members of the group then attempt to guess the correct answer.
How to do it: 

  1. Prepare an online whiteboard or chatroom that all workshop participants have access to. If it is not clear that all participants know how to get access to emojis or GIFs, make sure to explain it beforehand.
  2. Choose a topic for the challenge. This could be something like your favorite movie, a book, or your last vacation destination. It can be anything, really, even organizational topics that the workshop participants would know about. 
  3. Ask the participants to think about their answer, like for example their favorite movie, but make sure they do not say it out loud. Invite them to describe their answer, using only three emojis or one or several GIFs.
  4. The group should then guess what the emojis or GIFs mean. A lot of laughter is guaranteed!
  5. Alternative: It is also possible to change the game in a way that the participants do not have to guess the answers, but rather describe a predetermined statement or topic, like “Monday morning blues”, “the weekend is finally here” or alike through suitable emojis or GIFs. Here, the goal is to produce funny and creative responses.
Why we love it:
The participants get to know each other better and lots of laughter is guaranteed.
Time: 15-30 minutes

#3 My first … job

What’s the activity
Participants anonymously write down their first jobs on a post-it. The group then guesses which job belongs to which group member.
How to do it: 

  1. Prepare an online whiteboard with post-its.
  2. Ask the participants to write down their first job on a post-it on the whiteboard. Make sure they keep it anonymous!
  3. Let the group guess which first job belongs to which group member.
  4. Once the puzzle is solved, invite all workshop participants to share more details (when was it, what were the main learnings, etc.) about their first job with the group.
  5. Alternative: This game can also be played with almost every other topic; good alternatives are, for instance, the first music single or album you ever bought, the first concert you went to, or if you could meet anyone from the past, who would you like to meet and why?
Why we love it:
It is a great energizer that usually brings out loads of fun stories about the group members, results in a great atmosphere, and allows the participants to get to know each other.
Time: 15-30 minutes

For games 4 and 5 download our free pdf: Top 10 Workshop Games and Ice-Breakers of 2023 – Edition #1 HERE.

Do you like the workshop games and want to know more about the Pioneers corporate innovation services?

Book a short intro call with our workshop master @Michael Wlaschitz who will introduce you to the Pioneers offerings.
Just send a quick mail to

Michael Wlaschitz round

Michael Wlaschitz
Manager and Head of Venture Design

Christina Senft

Christina Senft

Senior Innovation Consultant